Papua New Guinea PM Marape says no talks with China on security

December 11, 2023 3:23 pm

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape [Source: Reuters]

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape said on Monday there had been no recent talks with China on security after the resource-rich nation signed a security agreement with neighbour Australia last week.

Marape said Papua New Guinea had been transparent, and when he visited Beijing this year with his ministers “there was no conversation on security”.

Papua New Guinea signed a defence agreement with the United States in May, and struck a security deal with Australia last week that Marape said was focused on internal security, including boosting police numbers and the judiciary.

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The resource rich but largely undeveloped nation north of Australia is seeking to boost foreign investment and trade to boost its economy, amid an increasing jostle for influence in the region between the United States and China, which signed a security pact with neighbouring Solomon Islands last year.

Marape said improving security was important for foreign investors.

Papua New Guinea’s exports are dominated by resources and energy, including liquefied natural gas.

Marape said he did not want to be lectured on climate change, and nations with the biggest carbon footprints and affluent lifestyles needed to take the lead in curbing emissions.

With 70% of Papua New Guinea forested, Marape said it was a “carbon negative” country and offered a green label to energy investors.